Isaiah Thomas was the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
And for a man, he’s short, listed at 5’9’’. This makes reaching the status of an elite guard in the NBA extremely difficult.
Combine all these factors together and it creates the potential for one of those rare success stories that gives everyone hope.
Thomas has successfully created that story.
The third year point guard from Washington has found his home and his niche in Sacramento.
As a rookie, he amazed people, not only making the roster but being named to the All-Rookie second team.
His career is still young, but his numbers throughout his young career are respectable, averaging 14.1 points and 4.5 assists.
This season, Thomas is truly making a name for himself against the best basketball players in the world.
He started the year coming off the bench, playing behind a true point guard in Greivis Vasquez. However, with Thomas in the team’s back pocket, the Kings shipped off their starting point guard for a premier small forward in Rudy Gay.
Sacramento made the statement that it was ready to have Thomas as their main floor general.
Ever since, Thomas has proved this is his team, and if there were still doubters of whether he could consistently make an impact on the game, he’s showed them.
On the season, Thomas has scored 19 points and dished out 6.2 assists, but now in the starting role, his numbers have increased even more.
In his increased minutes in his 20 games as a starter, Thomas is scoring 20.1 points per game compared to 17.8 points coming off the bench.
Yet, as a point guard, the area the Kings needed him to most step up was as a distributor. He did.
Despite his increased point production, Thomas has increased his assists, going from 4.9 as a bench player to 7.4 as a starter. In addition, Thomas’ turnover numbers have not increased.
This makes Thomas a tough match-up for other teams. He’s small and quick, can get passed through defenders and find the tiny spaces in the lane. Leave him open behind the arc? He can knock that down too. Now, he knows how to make his teammates better. While most point guards are straying away from the pass-first mentality in today’s game, every point guard has to run its team effectively.
Plus, to clarify, he’s listed at 5’9’’. He’s not actually that tall. I’ve interview him and I stand at 5’7’’. He’s no taller than me.
We all love the underdog. So, most players look straight over Thomas’ head, but he’s become a player seen by all.